Vienna is the best city in the world to live and work in, topping several other desirable cities in Europe, according to a recent survey.

The annual survey from management consultancy Mercer ranked 223 international cities based on 39 factors ranging from political and social environment to the availability of consumer goods. Mercer conducts the survey to help employers determine how to compensate workers on international assignments--the lower the city ranking, the more business owners are advised to pay employees to go there.

Vienna and Zurich claimed the top two spots, respectively. Five European cities were in the top 10, with Munich, Dusseldorf, and Frankfurt also making the list.

Vancouver ranked fifth, making it the highest-ranking city in North America. Ottawa, Toronto, and Montreal followed.  San Francisco was the highest-ranking U.S. city, at No. 27. Detroit was the lowest-ranked U.S. city, at No. 70. 

"On the whole, North American cities offer a high quality of living and are attractive working destinations for companies and their expatriates," Mercer senior researcher Slagin Parakatil said in a press release. "A wide range of consumer goods are available, and infrastructures, including recreational provisions, are excellent." 

Baghdad, Iraq, ranked last among the 223 cities in the survey. 

Published on: Feb 24, 2014